This just in: after reading this blog, Greece turns to Jenny Fab to solve debt crisis!
Business in the French World!
I have lived in France for almost two years.
The first year, I focused on learning French, making friends, getting the lay of the land, and attempting to figure out my pace in this new way of life.
On the surface, it seems dreamy and whimsical, and at times it was, but
the cold hard reality is this: France has broken me.
I submit, but I will never surrender. EVER.
As you may or may not know, I am a teacher. I teach English and Tribal Bellydance.
In the first year, I not only had to learn the language of the land, but also its customs, etiquettes, and proper being. There were many tears and angry outbursts, but each frustation was a learning experience, because it takes that je ne sais quoi, or certain something, not to become homicidal.
After attending several workshops on intergration, I learned that it takes patience and HARD WORK, WITHOUT PAY! I figured, naively of course, hey! I am a outgoing and friendly person, it will be a piece of cake!
Au contraire, mon frère! WRONG!
The Intergration workshop I attended was presented as a proven and successful scientific experiment. Me, the common denominator, and what the workshop pointed out, was DEFECTIVE.
The workshop encompassed several different applications, complete with proper procedures, outlines with subheadings, and then excecuted with successful precision.
Yes, this is how the French speak. They speak for 20 minutes when they could have easily said: The workshop is a brief outline on international business and procedures.
Get the Picture, now! Welcome to Hell! I mean, France!
I teach here every Saturday from 11:30 -1:00pm
L'Alternative Centre de Danses - 17b cours Edouard Vaillant 33300 BORDEAUX
Stop by and shake that money maker!!!
With this new knowledge under my belt, I jetted off to my 3rd business meeting earlier in the week. (The first 2 were disasters, in the French sense, but in the American sense - WELL DONE! I received everything I asked for and FOR FREE!!)
The meeting started à l'heure, meaning on time, because my colleague respected my culture and my need to be on time.
We greeted each other with the bises, kissed each other on both sides of the cheek, then, I served myself some water, sat comfortably in a nearby chair, but at attention, with my agenda and pen at the ready. My business colleague sat after me, giving her the power position of importance.
And the game begins: I'm going to make tennis references here, because meetings in France are like the game, the point is to play, have a good back and forth and ultimately volley (volée meaning to fight), and gain vantage points for the win.
During one of the pauses, I was introduced to another colleague, although shy about his English skills, he relayed to me with a perfect, spot on American accent:
'Hello, I love you. French kiss?'
Said with swagger and to the tune of Jim Morrison.
By the way, Jim Morrison is buried in Paris, Père Lachaise cemetery.
Mind you, Sébastian was SHY!
We then discussed our own shortcomings about learning a new language, culture, and etiquettes!
We learned that our shyness shapeshifts into a form of aggression, because we are unable to communicate, so instead say nothing and try to be invisible, which comes off as standoffish and arrogant. I also learned that they are no different than me, and in the end, we are all on the same boat.
Back to the meeting, I was mentally ticking off the subheadings from the scientific experience from above, and having a surreal experience at the SAME FUCKIN TIME!!!!! It was surreal!!
I had trained for this... all those countless hours that I thought were meaningless, fired off with such accuracy, I felt like I won the FRENCH OPEN, not by force, but by Un BEAU MATCH! A beautiful well played win!
You know what I am talking about, there was no boasting, no showmanship, no end zone dance, I was elated because I had the satisfaction of winning a well played, beautiful game!!!!
We ended our meeting with a cup of coffee, that she offered to me, however without sugar and black, she was embarrassed for not having a stocked cupboard.
The power position shifted towards me. And referring back to tennis,
I won the match and now have a much higher rank in the overalls. Top 5, for sure! (now I am doing my end zone dance!)
Bonjour et Bienvenue!
Thank you for stopping by for a spell!
I am a 40-something year old American woman. Born in Texas, raised in Las Vegas!
Frenchified for Life
is a fabulous little lifestyle blog about truly embracing French life!
My intent is to simply inspire you to create something unique and beautiful in your everyday life. The French have this wonderful and annoying habit of seeing the world through rose colored glasses, might as well learn something from them!
That said, I lift my glass to you!
By the way, I mention the name Cachou (or The Cash) a lot, I'm referring to her...